Working With System Dynamics – Charlotte Feng


Sugar Rush depicts the system of how food companies and health organizations combat to influence people’s attitudes towards sugar. The premise is that food companies are trying to get more people addicted to sugar so that they can make more profit from the high-sugar food products, and health organizations are trying to prevent people from getting addicted to sugar. The goal of each team is to get as many people on their side as possible. The purpose of this game is to depict how companies are taking advantage of human weaknesses. As a result, the values of this game are resilience against human weakness, society’s responsibility in stopping addictions, and caution against the system’s harm to individuals’ health.

Loops and Arcs

The loop

Food companies and health organizations can use money to influence people to join their side, so buying People cards is a critical skill. The players can either get money from the bank gradually and save them to buy a People card or use a smaller amount of money to buy an Action card to make it easier for them to get a People card in the long term. The feedback is a positive reinforcing one because the team getting more People cards each round will get an advantage next round.

The arc

We don’t have a clear arc designed in this game. So far, the arc is that players accumulate money in earlier turns and spend them in later turns, so there is a recourse collection phase and a spending phase. The more money and action cards you get, the easier it is to win in the later rounds. As they get more action cards, because the action cards are thematized to what food companies and health organizations do in real life, they will learn about more actions food companies and health organizations can take to influence people. That is how we deliver knowledge to the players.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.